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From the Amazon to the Runways: Kené Kaya's 'Amazonía' Collection Shines at Miami Swim Week

Updated: Jun 17

Miami-based Peruvian designer Alessandra Durand dazzled attendees on the opening day of Miami Swim Week with her stunning "Amazonía" collection under her brand Kené Kaya. Featuring a captivating array of indigenous artwork from the Peruvian Amazon, the collection blended embroidered, printed, and hand-painted designs into versatile swim and resort wear that mesmerized the audience.

Alessandra Durand with models Nicole Frost and Aarieanna Ware

"Kené Kaya," meaning "the spirit of design" in the Shipibo-Conibo language, reflects Durand's mission to celebrate Peruvian indigenous cultural heritage through fashion.

Durand's show stood out in the designer schedule, captivating audiences from the start. The opening, with model Ivany Guzman, set a graceful tone, complemented by beautiful instrumentals and the vocals of Kené Kaya artisan Olinda Silvano, which instantly drew the spectators' attention.

Model Ivany Guzman

Departing from conventional swimwear presentations, "Amazonía" offered an elegant and cohesive collection of resort and swimwear. The collection featured a mix of fabric prints and embroidery showcasing the artwork of artisans from the Awaújn and Shipibo-Conibo tribes of the Amazon, narrating a story of cultural richness and reverence.

Model Cathyliana Santiago-Nunez

The dramatic finale was a highlight, as two models walked the runway draped in hand-painted capes by renowned artists Olinda Silvano and Sadith Silvano. These breathtaking creations added an exquisite touch to the mesmerizing collection.

Model Aarieanna Ware

"This collection is a tribute to the beauty of the Amazon and the remarkable talent of its indigenous communities," said Durand. "The richness of our traditions and the vibrancy of Peruvian indigenous culture are embodied in every piece of art. Through 'Amazonía,' I hope to foster a deeper appreciation for indigenous cultural heritage. I am honored to share the talent of artisans beyond the streets of Lima."

The collection garnered praise for its cohesive yet versatile aesthetic, seamlessly combining traditional motifs of nature and Amazonian wildlife with modern, elegant silhouettes.

Model Reneisha Pierre

Alessandra Durand's fashion journey is profoundly shaped by her upbringing and unique experiences. Raised by parents committed to social justice and humanitarian efforts in Peru, she was naturally driven to make a positive impact. Her postgraduate studies in International Development at the University of Oxford sparked her interest in alternative economic models and social entrepreneurship to address pressing needs in underdeveloped countries like Peru. A pivotal visit to Cantagallo, a community of Shipibo-Conibo artists in the shantytowns of Lima, revealed the challenges faced by talented artisans who couldn't showcase their art beyond Peru. This experience motivated her to create her label and incorporate their artwork into contemporary designs, merging social impact and cultural preservation with fashion, while also implementing several sustainability initiatives within the community.

"Amazonía" by Kené Kaya showcases how fashion can transcend boundaries and elevate cultural narratives. By seamlessly blending art, tradition, and innovation, it makes a lasting impression on the global fashion scene.

Model Aarieanna Ware

About Kené Kaya

Kené Kaya is a fashion brand dedicated to promoting and preserving indigenous craftsmanship through contemporary design. Founded by Alessandra Durand, the brand collaborates with indigenous artisans to create unique, high-quality garments that celebrate cultural heritage and support sustainable practices. 

By ML Staff. Images courtesy of Getty Images, Thomas Concordia


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